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Antioxidant Activity and Volatile and Phenolic Profiles of Essential Oil and Different Extracts of Wild Mint (Mentha longifolia) from the Pakistani Flora

DOI: 10.1155/2013/536490

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The antioxidant activity and free radical scavenging capacity of the essential oil and three different extracts of wildly grown Mentha longifolia (M. longifolia) were studied. The essential oil from M. longifolia aerial parts was isolated by hydrodistillation technique using Clevenger-type apparatus. The extracts were prepared with three solvents of different polarity (n-hexane, dichloromethane, and methanol) using Soxhlet extractor. Maximum extract yield was obtained with methanol (12.6?g/100?g) while the minimum with dichloromethane (3.50?g/100?g). The essential oil content was found to be 1.07?g/100?g. A total of 19 constituents were identified in the M. longifolia oil using GC/MS. The main components detected were piperitenone oxide, piperitenone, germacrene D, borneol, and β-caryophyllene. The total phenolics (TP) and total flavonoids (TF) contents of the methanol extract of M. longifolia were found to be significantly higher than dichloromethane and hexane extracts. The dichloromethane and methanol extracts exhibited excellent antioxidant activity as assessed by 2,2′-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging ability, bleaching β-carotene, and inhibition of linoleic acid peroxidation assays. The essential oil and hexane extract showed comparatively weaker antioxidant and free radical scavenging activities. The results of the study have validated the medicinal and antioxidant potential of M. longifolia essential oil and extracts. 1. Introduction Free radicals are considered to initiate oxidation that leads to aging and causes diseases in human beings [1, 2]. Moreover, activated oxygen incorporates reactive oxygen species (ROS) which consists of free radicals (1O2, , , ONOO?) and nonfree radicals (H2O2, NO, and R–OOH) [3]. ROS are liberated by virtue of stress, and thus, an imbalance is developed in the body that damages cells in it and causes health problems [2, 4]. Moreover, oxidation in processed foods, enriched with fats and oils, during storage leads to spoilage and quality deterioration [5]. The use of synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) have been restricted because of their carcinogenicity and other toxic properties [3, 6]. Thus, the interest in natural antioxidants has increased considerably. Natural antioxidants can be phenolic compounds (tocopherols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids) and carotenoids (lutein, lycopene, and carotene). Growing evidence has shown an inverse correlation between the intake of dietary antioxidants and


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